Powell Valley Electric Co-op offers these tips to keep you and your family safe:
- Keep people and pets away from damaged power lines and other electrical equipment. Don’t touch anything in contact with downed lines such as a car, tree, fence or clothesline.
- Don’t climb trees, fly kites, remote-control airplanes or drones; or release balloons near power lines. If you get something stuck on a power line, call your local co-op or 911 and stay away!
- Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas or gutters on your home.
- If a power line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle. Call or ask someone to call 911, then your local co-op. If you must exit the car, open the door and jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle away using small steps, keeping both feet on the ground, until you are at least 50 feet away.
- All electrical work should be performed by a licensed electrician.
- Use GFCI-protected outlets in kitchens and bathrooms. Water and electricity do not mix.
- Routinely check cords, outlets, switches and appliances for signs of damage. Immediately stop using damaged electrical devices and have them replaced or repaired.
- Do not overload outlets with too many devices or appliances.
- Never run extension cords under rugs or carpets.
- When replacing bulbs, always follow recommended wattage guidelines.
- Test smoke alarms once a month, and replace batteries once a year.
- Don’t throw water on an electrical fire. Use an approved fire extinguisher.
Generator Safety Tips
- Place the generator in an open, well-ventilated area away from your home or garage. Using your generator in a space that does not have adequate ventilation increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning (CO) from fumes. As an extra precaution, install CO detectors around the home and test them regularly.
- Standby generators are wired directly into the home and can be sized to match the electrical demands of the home or building. A permanently installed standby generator must have an approved transfer safety switch to avoid feeding electricity back into the electrical system outdoors, creating what’s known as “backfeed.” Backfeed is dangerous for line workers as well as anyone who may be near downed power lines.
- Portable generators do not permanently attach to the home, and can power only the appliances that are plugged into the generator, so consider essential electrical needs when choosing. To avoid backfeed into the utility electrical system, the portable generator should never be plugged directly into the home.
You can find additional safety tips and information at everydaysafe.org.